Starting Small: That’s How Oprah Began. Piers Morgan, Too.


The other night Piers Morgan interviewed Walter Isaacson, the author of Steve Jobs’ biography and for the first time that I’ve seen he had an audience.  Maybe it’s the start of a whole new style for him.  He seems to have drawn more from Oprah than Larry King, so a live audience would suit him.

The audience was small, and there wasn’t anything fancy about them, they sat on pretty simple chairs.  I enjoyed the simplicity of that.  It reminded me that everybody starts small.  Oprah started out with no audience and a pretty ramshackle studio set up in the beginning.

Then she said she wanted an audience, so they brought in studio employees.  Who sat on a bunch of miscellaneous chairs.  How did she become so successful?  Who knows, but I suspect the biggest ingredient was how much she loved what she was doing.  So she just poured herself into it.

The other night I was lying in bed thinking about my book.  I’m doing it the simple and cheapest way.  I’ve done my own editing, designed the cover, and I’m going to self e-publish through Lulu.com.  It means I have to get creative about the marketing, but I have some ideas and I’m sure one thing will lead to another.  I don’t have to know it all right at the beginning.

Even with the cover, I panicked at first, because I’m as ignorant as all hell about design using a computer, didn’t even know what Photoshop was.  I thought how can I even come up with an idea?  But I did.  I just put one foot in front of the other and before I knew it I had something to work with.  And it’s not that hard to understand the free software I downloaded.

As I was thinking about all of this a great sense of peace came over me.  I’m not controlled by fear and insecurity any more and I’ve cleared away the major blocks within myself, the ones that paralyzed me.  I’m finally doing something I’ve got a passion for, so I can pour myself into it.  That’s all that really matters.  Everything else will follow.

After a lifetime of wrestling with a rank inability to create anything out of things I’m passionate about, and doing the most godawful things to stay alive – from working intolerably exploitative jobs to begging people to support me, keep me alive, this is nothing short of a miracle!

I feel grateful that life has supported me, kept me going through all the challenges that I had to overcome within myself, given me the person who could guide me in the way I needed and provide me with what I lacked. I didn’t used to have a good inner foundation but I do now.  It’s allowing me to give passage to the creative energy that’s just jumping around like an excited kid inside of me.

Ha.  At last we get to play!  I’ve always been afraid of the idea of a small beginning, scared that it wouldn’t be enough.  I’ve been terrorized by the idea that anything I put into the world had to be totally flawless, hugely professional, absolutely perfect.  Not any more, though.  Everybody starts small.  There’s no need for me to do it any differently.  There’s a lot of power in small if you enjoy what you do.

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